Life is full of unexpected turns, throwing curveballs that can completely upend your norms. Job layoffs, failing health, accidents, retirement, remarriages are all common yet unexpected occurrences in the life of adults. However, such incidents may have an impact on your finances, and in a stretch, your alimony or child support.
Your divorce lawyer may have negotiated a settlement filed in court, with alimony or child support as part of the decree. Certain circumstances can involve a significant material change, and you may want to know if modifying alimony or child support is possible.
Modifying of Alimony Obligations
The judge ordered that you pay alimony to your ex, but you can barely cater to your monthly living expenses. Generally, you can request for the court to modify alimony when there is a significant change in circumstances. However, the cases are fact-dependent, and the burden of proof lies with the spouse seeking modification. The substantial change may need to be material, involuntary, permanent, and not contemplated at the time of judgment for your divorce. As such, it would be in your best interest to hire a family law attorney to argue your case.
If you wish to seek an alimony modification based on a change in your spouse’s financial needs, you should consider legal help. Chances are that your ex-spouse will hire an attorney to challenge the motion. An experienced West Palm Beach lawyer can assemble and present a compelling argument for your request, complete with evidence.
It is vital to understand that you may need to file your modification with the court as soon as possible. Simply stopping to pay the alimony after your job loss may result in sanctions, such as paying your ex-spouse attorney fees, driver’s license suspension, or spending time in jail. Consider hiring a divorce attorney in West Palm Beach the second your circumstances change.
Changing Your Child Support
A parent owes their children a duty to provide for them with the necessary financial support for food, shelter, medical, and educational needs. However, unlike spousal support that is hinged on financial need, child support is based on income. Significant changes in any party’s circumstances may be ground for modifying alimony or child support. If a spouse suddenly has a strong source of income, loses an income, or remarries, there are grounds to request an increase, decrease, or elimination of the payments.
As with Alimony modification, the burden of proof lies with the applicant. Hiring a family law attorney in West Palm Beach can help you gather the necessary evidence to present before the judge to get your application approved.
The court may not necessarily have a record about the circumstances the parties agreed to when agreeing to alimony or child support. It is essential that a divorce settlement define the terms applicable, which can affect modifying alimony or child support. A court will often rely on the terms of the marriage settlement agreement when ruling.
Certain circumstances in life may cause significant material changes that warrant modification of your alimony or child support payments. If you need a legal advisor in West Palm Beach for your family law dispute, contact the Affordable Divorce Center. We offer low-cost legal services that include modifying alimony or child support.